North Dakota Vital Records

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This entry was originally written by Beth H. Bauman and Marsha Hoffman Rising, CG, FUGA, FASG for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
the North Dakota Family History Research series.
History of North Dakota
North Dakota Vital Records
Census Records for North Dakota
Background Sources for North Dakota
North Dakota Maps
North Dakota Land Records
North Dakota Probate Records
North Dakota Court Records
North Dakota Tax Records
North Dakota Cemetery Records
North Dakota Church Records
North Dakota Military Records
North Dakota Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections
North Dakota Archives, Libraries, and Societies
North Dakota Naturalization
Ethnic Groups of North Dakota
North Dakota County Resources
Map of North Dakota


A state law passed in 1893 made it mandatory to file vital records with township clerks. It was repealed in 1895 but reenacted in 1899.

The State Department of Vital Records was formed in 1923; all copies of prior birth and death information were required to be sent there. Copies of birth and death records beginning 1 July 1893 may be obtained from the North Dakota Department of Health, Division of Vital Records, 600 E. Blvd. Ave., Bismarck, ND 58505 www.vitalnd.com. Requests can be made from the website. Relationship information must be provided when requesting these records.

Marriage records generally date from county organization and can be obtained from the county judge of the county where the license was issued. Only marriage records after 1 July 1925 are on file at the Division of Vital Records in Bismarck.

All divorce proceedings are recorded by the clerk of the district court in each county.

Indexes to deaths from the turn of the twentieth century to present, marriages 1925 to present, and recent divorces in North Dakota are available in the State Historical Society Reading Room at the Heritage Center (see North Dakota Archives, Libraries, and Societies).

The records from the Bureau of Indian Affairs include vital records such as birth, death, and marriage from the agencies of Fort Totten, Turtle Mountain, Standing Rock, and Fort Bethold. The National Archives—Central Plains Region maintains these records.

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